Good morning, Philly. The skies are looking a little dismal as we head into into this weekend (again), but hopefully this story of a larger-than-life Black Panther-themed North Philly prom send-off will brighten your day. The mother who famously rented a camel for her son's prom send-off brought back the wildlife this year, renting a jungle cat to attend a full-out Wakanda-themed pre-prom party. In other news, Bryan Colangelo has resigned as Sixers president  after a week-long investigation revealed his wife used of anonymous Twitter accounts to release damaging team information.

Dayanna McBride and Quian Brown pose in front of the Tesla they will take to the prom after their Wakanda-themed prom send off on 22nd St. in North Phila., Pa. on June 6, 2018. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Elizabeth Robertson
Dayanna McBride and Quian Brown pose in front of the Tesla they will take to the prom after their Wakanda-themed prom send off on 22nd St. in North Phila., Pa. on June 6, 2018. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Last year, her son's Dubai-themed pre-prom bash made national headlines after bringing a live camel to the streets of North Philly. This year, it was a panther that came to the neighborhood for Saudia Shuler's prom send-off, themed after the superhero blockbuster Black Panther movie. Complete with movie scene re-enactments, costumed actors and outfit changes, the "Wakanda Comes to Philly" was also a live show, a film shoot, a catered dinner and block party.

Prom send-offs are the party before the party. The basic premise — an opportunity for relatives and family friends to fawn over the prom-goers — is a custom that goes way back. But these days, in Philly's black community in particular, the prom send-off can be much bigger than the prom itself.

Staff writer Cassie Owens takes an in-depth look at the history behind Philly's lavish proms and seizing the joy of the high school dance send-off.

Bryan Colangelo is out. After a nine-day saga that just kept getting weirder following a report linking Colangelo to damaging anonymous Twitter accounts, the Sixers president and general manager officially parted ways with the team yesterday.

An investigation by a New York law firm concluded that Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini, was responsible for creating and posting from the anonymous accounts but that Colangelo was "the source of the sensitive, non-public, club-related information" the accounts shared. The Sixers' statement further called Colangelo "careless and in some instances reckless" in safeguarding the info.

Because Bottini wiped her phone by resetting it to factory settings, the law firm said it couldn't determine the full scope of how much Colangelo knew about the burner accounts, but the not-so-anonymous tweets aligned with some of the frustration and beliefs shared in the Sixers' organization.

During a press conference, the Sixers announced that Head Coach Brett Brown will temporarily step into Colangelo's former shoes while the team continues to restore its credibility and search for a full-time GM. Front-runners for the position include the Cavaliers' David Griffin, the Spurs' Brian Wright, Sixers' VP Marc Eversely, and Mike Zarren of the Celtics.

Could a David Griffin hire pave the way for Lebron James to come to Philly? Trust the process.

In Philadelphia, the number of immigrants keeps growing.

The foreign-born population increased 69 percent from 2000 to 2016  — to more than 232,000 — and now represents nearly 15 percent of all city residents, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

That's the highest share since World War II.

The newcomers have helped drive Philadelphia's recent population growth following a half-century of decline, increased its workforce, and boosted the number of entrepreneurs. At the same time, the study said, immigrants have added to the already large pool of poor and less-educated residents, and increased the number of people who struggle to speak English, putting demands on schools and services.

What you need to know today

  • Philadelphia School District officials have finally cleaned up 10.7 million toxic asbestos fibers — 100 times higher than the level that health experts say is cause for alarm — from surfaces inside Olney Elementary, three days after the Inquirer published a report alerting the district to its testing results inside the school. District officials initially claimed they fixed the problem in February.
  • Sports betting at casinos and racetracks is now legal in New Jersey, thanks to a unanimous approval of the bill by the Garden State's legislature yesterday, and books could open within days.
  • A West Chester Borough is reconsidering its snow shoveling policy just in time for summer after a resident appealed a sidewalk shoveling citation from December — and won.
  • A former Pennsylvania state trooper was sentenced to spend time behind bars yesterday for taunting, cursing at, and repeatedly punching a crying man handcuffed and belted in the back of a patrol car.
  • Federal investigators have seized the records of New York Times reporter Ali Watkins, a Temple University graduate and former Daily News intern, as part of a probe into the activities of James A. Wolfe, the  Senate Intelligence Committee's former director of security and romantic connection of Watkins.
  • Philly will host its first Black Restaurant Week next week, showcasing African American, African, and Caribbean cuisines and hosting a culinary panel discussing the challenges of the restaurant industry.
  • The Philadelphia area's Potterheads are in mourning following the announcement that organizers of Chestnut Hill's famous Harry Potter Festival have said "avada kedavra" to the wizarding bash following legal pressure from Warner Bros. Studios.
  • Philly's Parking Authority is pushing to impose a new tax on Uber and Lyft to increase inspection of ride-sharing vehicles, which the PPA say have been found in "unconscionable conditions."
  • Protesting gun violence and standing with those affected, Philadelphians are prepping to #FillTheSteps of the Museum of Art on Monday, June 11 at 1 p.m.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly


The winner of this week's #OurPhilly poll (drumroll, please) is @dres_face with this summertime shot of City Hall.

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting


June 8, 2018
June 8, 2018
"I knew it wouldn't last because fans of everything from Star Trek to Stranger Things have received their fair share of cease-and-desist letters. They're part of a long history of tensions between fan communities and copyright owners." — Staff writer, wizarding world superfan, and editor of this newsletter Aubrey Nagle on the demise of the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Fest.
  • A growing number of commencement speakers are addressing the current political climate without using President Trump's name — and that's the right call, argues columnist (and 2018 Delaware Valley University commencement speaker) Michael Smerconish.
  • Democrats blew it when they elected the "corrupt" U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to New Jersey's November ticket, columnist Will Bunch writes.

What we’re reading

  • Kristel Oreto, an Instagram-famous Fishtown tattoo artist, documented her dramatic weight loss transformation by posting photos to her social accounts in 2016. Then the fitness selfies began to surface on sketchy weight-loss product ads on Facebook and Instagram — without her permission. Now she's suing the social media giants in federal court, Philly Mag reports.
  • "There were plenty of times I just wanted to give up, where I thought it'd be better if I was just dead," 16-year-old Beatriz Jiminez told the Philadelphia City Council of her time in a juvenile placement center. Philadelphia Weekly details the conditions of the facilities through the testimonies of the children who have lived in them.
  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently announced plans to host the NorthStar Conference for tech workers from Black and Latinx communities, but it's raising the eyebrows of some in other minority groups who say they are being excluded. Philly has the story.
  • How Native American is Native American enough? That's the question Buzzfeed contributor Tommy Orange ponders as he wrestles with the erasure of his Native American genes.
  • When Fuji Scoggins moved into her three-story Victorian home in Rosewood, Florida, she had no idea that her house was the only remnant of the town consumed in a horrific massacre or of the hero who previously lived there. Now, at 84, she's selling the home and hopes its history won't be forgotten. The Tampa Bay Times tells her story.